Archive for April, 2008

Mother’s Day Gifts To Give or Receive (Hint, Hint)

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.  It’s hard to believe April is almost over already.  Anywho, I’ll be posting more cool gifts to give (or buy for yourself) for Mother’s Day. 

Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is May 12, 2008.   

THE IVORY MAGNOLIA – Dedra Brown Harvin is the owner of Etsy shop, The Ivory Magnolia.  Read this busy owner’s profile here.  The Ivory Magnolia has an extensive collection of bath and body products which are created utilizing natural, high quality ingredients.  I had the opportunity to try the Kiwi Goats Milk Soap and Kiwi Satin Body Cream, which were both amazing.  My skin stayed smooth and soft the whole day.  An added plus was that the delightful Kiwi fragrance also lasted the whole day.  Make sure to visit The Ivory Magnolia for all of your Mother’s Day bath and beauty product needs.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

a.        b.        c.        d. 

 e.      f.      g. 

  • a.  Kiwi Satin Body Cream with Vitamin E, $12.00, 7 oz.  Loaded with vitamin-rich ingredients and whipped to perfection, this luxurious soft as satin body cream will make your skin feel smooth and silky soft.
  • b.  Kiwi Natural Body Mist, 8 ml, $2.95.  Our “water-based” body mist contains certified organic African Acacia Gum which is rich in proteins and other nutrients. 
  • c.  Triple Stack of Satin Body Creams, 1 oz. each, You Pick the Scent, $7.00. 
  • d.  Goat’s Milk Soap, 3 oz., You Pick the Scent, $4.00.  Luxurious soap made with 100% vegetable oil, goats milk, and glycerin. These ingredients work together to moisturize, heal, and improve the elasticity of our skin.
  • e.  Shea Butter Soap, 6 oz. Luxe Bar, $5.00, Your Choice, You Pick Scent.  Luxurious soap made with 100% vegetable oil, shea butter, and glycerin. 
  • f.  Lavender Pedicure Collection Travel Bag, $14.00.  It contains a 9oz bottle of Foot Soak, a 1oz jar of Foot Butter, and a Pedicure Tool … all the necessities for an instant pedicure.
  • g.  $15 Gift Certificate Via Snail Mail, $15.00.  This listing is for – ONE – $15 gift certificate to be delivered via USPS First Class Mail with delivery & signature confirmation.

 ****NOTE:  Mention “Mature Natural Blog” and receive 15% off your purchase.

REUSABLE BAGS

   Built NY Gourmet Getaway Insulated Lunch/Tote, $23.95.

DIAMOND ORGANICS

  Organic Moms Gift Basket, $110.00.  Basket includes organic apples, pears, strawberries, citrus, almonds, cookies from our bakery and fresh organic flowers.  Price includes free overnight delivery to most areas. (Add $5 for rural addresses and $10 for Saturday delivery.)

 FTD 

a.       b.  

   Macy’s Sterling Silver Diamond Puff Heart Pendant (1 ct. t.w.), Reg. $350, sale $175.00.

ACACIA Plush Spa Lounger, $69.00.  

Kinky-Curly Hair Homemade Spritz Alternative

The weather is getting warmer and if you’re like me, a homemade spritz is a quick fix to hair that needs a little extra moisture in the middle of the day.  I finally found an alternative that is comparable to my homemade spritz that is offline, easy to find, and cheap.  Ion Leave-In-Conditioner (anti-frizz solutions) Daily No Rinse Treatment is the next best thing to my homemade spritz.  This double duty leave-in is currently on sale at Sally Beauty Supply ($3.99) and is also a great detangler.  The back of my hair is tangle city and just spritzing the area with this leave-in detangles instantly and easily. 

There is a cone in this product (amodimethicone) and a paraben at the bottom of the ingredient list (methylparaben), but overall, Ion Leave-Conditioner is a good product.  So far, I haven’t had any problems with buildup or itching.  Please note that this product does not define kinks and curls, but does soften and detangle, leaving hair fluffy and tangle free.  Cool product for a chunky fro, twistout, or to soften braids or locs. 

Other notable Ion product: Ion Reconstructor Treatment, $1.99, 1 oz. pkg.  Perfect for those monthly deep conditioning/strengthening treatments.

 

Online Hair Products for Locs

I’ve always been facinated with locs and loc maintenance.  I’ll never forget an elderly woman I encountered while out shopping.  She had to be about 65 to 70 years old with salt-n-pepper locs.  Her locs were pinned up in a beautiful updo and there seemed to be a certain “regality” about her.  I couldn’t stop staring at her and, of course, I had to tell her how beautiful I thought her locs were. 

I’m curious as to what loc hair products (online, homemade, etc.) are utilized, maintenance regimen, spiritual significance (if any), trials, and tribulations for each individual.  I would love to have locs one day, but I know I’m not ready yet.  I can’t stand having my hair braided or twisted for more than 3-4 days at a time.  I love the touch and feel of my loose hair.  I do see myself starting locs some time in the near future though. 

In the upcoming months, I will be posting more info regarding locs (starting locs, types of locs, maintenance, etc.).  I also encourage any of my blog readers with locs to share with us the type of locs you have and what product(s) are working for you.  Chic Afrique Herbals and Handcrafted Naani Naturals are two online product lines with products specifically for locs.

Chic Afrique Herbals

The Chic Afrique Herbal Line are 100% Natural.

    Odara Hair Oil, $9.99 for 4 oz. Odara Hair Oil contains essential oils of petitgrain, lavender, mandarin orange, grapefruit, which leaves a refreshing clean citrusy fragrance, that lasts all day.

   Odara Hair Butter, $9.99 for 4 oz.  Odara consists of Shea nut butter blended with Olive oil, Lemon, Mandarin orange, Cedar wood and liberal amounts of Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Nettle and Chamomile, fragranced with a citrus blend of Petitgrain and Grapefruit.

     Odara Conditioning Hair Food, $15.00 for 6 oz.  Odara hair food contains water, jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, vegetable emulsifying wax, steric acid, Xantham gum and
essential oils of Rosmary.

  Odara Loc Butter, $9.99 for 4 oz. It contains Lanolin, Shea Butter, Candelia Wax, Sunflower Oil, infused with Coltsfoot, Horsetails, Nettle, Lavender herb, Rosemary, Sage, and Elders flowers. The essential oils of Petit Grain, Lemon, Rosemary Sage, and Patchouli are aslo added.

Handcrafted Naani Naturals

Naani Lock’d Down Dreadlock Butter, $16.15 for 8 oz., $8.00 for 4 oz. Ingredients:  Herb Infused Olive Oil, Jojoba, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Illipe Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Essential Oil and/or Fragrance Oil Blend. Available in 6 aromatherapy blends.

Naani Lock’d Down Dreadlock Butter II, $9.25 for 4 oz., $18.00 for 8 oz.  No beeswax formula.  Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Herb Infused Olive Oil, Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Illipe Butter, Vitamin E, Essential Oil and/or Fragrance Oil Blend.

Aromatherapy Moisturizing Twist & Lock Design Crème, 8oz, $15.99.  Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Leaf Juice, Witch Hazel, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Herbal Growth Formula (Jojoba, Shea, Olive, & Grapeseed oils, Organic Herbs-Burdock Root, Comfrey Root, Nettle Root, Calendula Blossoms, Chamomile Flowers, Salvia Apiana Leaf & Black Walnut Hull), Cyclomethicone, Keratin Amino Acids, Carbomer, TEA, Methyl/Propyl Paraben, Essential & Fragrance oils.  Dreadlocks:  Use stand-alone or in conjunction with Lock’d Down Dreadlocks Butter.  I prefer to combine 1 part Butter to 1 part Design Creme for initial twisting.  The  combination helps moisturize and soften coarse hair for easier styling, while imparting hold. 

ZAYANU BY DESIGN 

How could I possibly write about loc’d hair products without featuring handmade loc jewelry?  These exquisitely crafted creations belong to Zayunu by Design shop on Etsy, as well as her website at Zayunu By Design.  Add a little bit of “regality” to your locs with any of these. 

         

I had to share this.  It’s funny that after almost 6 years of wearing my hair natural, I still get those looks of pity, disgust, or disbelief from family, friends, and strangers.  I’m at the point in my journey where I feel I don’t have to explain my reasonings for “my natural hair choice”.  Hell, then again, I could display those same looks of pity, disgust, or disbelief for “some of their hair choices”  (LOL), but I won’t.  Just do you, okay, cause I’m good.

Butterfly Enchantress Designs: The Perfect Bridal Accessories

Springtime brings with it a lot of planning and shopping in anticipation of upcoming wedding ceremonies.  For those of you searching for the perfect bridal accessories, visit the Etsy shop of Butterfly Enchantress Designs.  Their creations include bridal hair accessories, bridal jewelry, as well as bouqet jewelry.

ABOUT BUTTERFLY ENCHANTRESS DESIGNS

The link to Butterfly Enchantress Designs’ Profile/Bio page is here.  This bridal accessory hobby began after an unfortunate car accident involving both the designer and her husband.  Due to the designer’s hand injuries, she started making hair accessories and jewelry as part of her hand therapy.  Butterfly Enchantress Designs have created some of the most beautiful, breathtaking bridal accessories I’ve seen to date. 

**Please contact Butterfly Enchantress Designs for any questions regarding custom orders or additional quantities of any item for your bridal party.

a.  b.  c.d.   e. 

  (30) Swarovski Crystal Stems Mix for Bridal Bouqet Decor, $29.99 – Swarovski Crystal Stems Mix with 6mm, 8mm &10mm Crystals for Your Bouquet, Jewelry, and Decor.  Custom-made set of 30.  

  Freshwater Pearl Necklace, $29.99 

Pearl Swarovski Crystal Cluster Earrings, $16.99

  Sparkly Silver Crystal Bracelet, $14.99

Mature Natural sends much love and wishes to Butterfly Enchantress Designs for continued progress in your recovery.

Callidora Handmade Aprons, Handbags, and Accessories

Every year I have a hard time finding my mom gifts that are unique and practical.  Mom has stockpiled gifts from all of her children, grandchildren, and in-laws over the years.  How do I know?  Opening her closets and cabinets tells me so.  You can actually shop for kitchen appliances, clothes, and purses at mom’s place.  Once I had a blender die on me which she promptly replaced with a brand new one.  There was something familiar about that blender.  It didn’t dawn on me until later on that she had regifted a blender I bought her.  Yes, she did!  We still laugh about it, but I’ll never forget it.  It’s time to find gifts that mom will use so she won’t stockpile or regift (LOL)! 

I found beautiful handmade aprons at Callidora that I know would make mom happy.  These aprons brought back some fond memories of her.  Dinnertime was always the time of day where everyone got togther in our household, regardless of where we were or what we were doing.  Dad would be coming home from work, me and my siblings from school or outside playing.  I vividly remember her wearing aprons and she had plenty of them.  Keep in mind, though, Callidora’s aprons are not the typical aprons mom and grandma wore back then.  These retro goodies are fashionably hip, colorful in detail, and can be made to order.  Throw in a matching headband, tote bag, or purse organizer and mom is good to go!  

A LITTLE INFO ABOUT CALLIDORA

The owner of Callidora is Terri Collins who has been crafting most of her life.  She also had her own tailoring business.  Some of her creations included wedding gowns and evening wear, as well as business casual or Sunday dress.  Over the last few years, jewelry and knitting have become more recent loves she has taken up.  All items are handcrafted by Terri who accepts wholesale, as well as custom orders.

Check out her blog at TLC SAYS.  She’s also leader of the ETSY ARTISTS OF COLOR blog.  Tune in weekly for free giveaways. 

***NOTE:  Callidora is offering FREE gift wrap & card or FREE shipping anywhere in the United States now through May 5, 2008. Just mention code MATNAT in the Message to Seller and indicate which discount you would like to receive.

                                       

The No Hurt Reversible Headbands, $6.00 – No Hurt Reversible Headbands are constructed with cotton fabric, soft interfacing, and elastic. They hold their shape and will stay on your head, but will not dig in and cause those headaches we know only too well from store-bought headbands. They have been overlocked and topstitched for extra security in construction.  You aren’t limited to the colors or combinations you see in store.  The owner will happily make one in your color choices – solids, prints, or both.

Many of the headbands coordinate with the aprons and handbags in the store.  If you would like a matching headband for another item, but don’t see it here – just ask!  It’s probably just not listed yet.

1.           2.  

  1. Black and Fuschia Polka Dot Bag, $35.00 – This is a great tote!  It’s deluxe twill cotton and has two large outer pockets in a coordinating black/fuchsia stripe. The interior lining is a lightweight pink cotton with black polka dots. There are three pockets on the inside – to hold your wallet, phone and keys.
  2. Hot Pink and Black Purse Organizer, $12.00 – A bright, easy to find, purse organizer!  These are made with two coordinating fabrics and have a buckram insert to keep them stiff. They can roll up small, or you can create a circle shape at the bottom of a larger tote.

1.          2.  

  1. Pink Os Small Clutch, $15.00 – Small clutch or cosmetic bag. Pink cotton with purple, hot pink, lime and white “O”s. Zippered and fully lined in white muslin.  Measurements: 10″ W x 5” H, machine washable.
  2. No Hurt Reversible Headband, $6.00  

1.          2.  

  1. Green Paisley and Stripe Apron, $28.00 – This beautiful Plus Size apron is a traditional paisley paired with bold stripes. The striped fabric forms a pleated ruffle at the bottom.
  2. Green Paisley and Striped Tote, $32.00 – Another beautiful tote bag, perfect for Spring and Summer. The body is elegant green paisley with bold green stripe outer pockets. The bag is fully lined in white muslin. Magnetic closure.  Measurements:

  

Aprons – Mother/Daughter Set, $40.00 – Mom’s Apron has brown polka dots and a large paisley print on a pink background. The pocket and pleat are pink and olive polka dots on a brown background – the same fabric used for the Daughter’s Apron.  The fabrics are a heavy twill, rather than a lightweight cotton, so these can really take a beating.

HairThingys Hair Jewelry

Spring is here and I’m itching to show off my hair growth by investing in hair accessories that are more grown-up and can literally “hold it down”.  I now have 7 inches of hair to work with and I can finally kiss those flimsy kiddie accessories buh-bye for good.  Hello hair accessories that are comfortable, sophisticated, and contructed to last. 

My initial search almost always starts with Etsy, which, by the way, never fails to deliver whatever handmade item my heart desires.  My search for hair accessories turned up a shop with some amazing hair  accessories.  Some of the materials used to make these one-of-a-kind beauties include leather, sterling silver, carnelian nuggets, agate, bone, etc.  They are constructed to last with strong, high quality elastic.  HairThingys can be used on hair that is relaxed, natural, or locked.  

HAIRTHINGYS 

Tamra, the owner of HairThingys, was trained as a physicist, but couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do with her life.  She kind of fell into jewelry design as a career.  This talented lady has her own business, Gentry Design Company, and currently has two ventures; Ag Jewelry Design (jewelry) and HairThingys (hair jewelry).  She began as a beader and is a self-taught metalsmith and jewelry artist.  

Tamra had this to share about how HairThingys began.  “As a person with locked hair, I found the accessories I purchased in stores to be insufficient for both my hair type and the size of my ponytails.  Many of them were cheap and it showed over time.  They either lost components or broke altogether, and I didn’t care for many of the designs I saw.  I figured that I could make what I wanted myself, so HairThingys was born.” 

Check out the following hair accessories from HairThingys. 

Chic Carnelian-Nugget Hair Nugget, $6.50 -These HairThingys are made of highly polished carnelian nuggets and mounted on single strand of high-quality brown elastic cord.  These ponytail holders are perfect for smaller ponytails, and the elastic can be wrapped around twice for a snug fit, or once for a looser fit.  Wear two ponytails, wear just one, or wear the pair on one!
 Love My Leather HairThingy, $7.50 – This HairThingy is made of beautiful etched leather, and is mounted on a triple strand of high-quality brown elastic cord! The leather bead measures 1-1/2″ long.  This ponytail holder works best on larger ponytails and wraps around twice for a secure fit.

 Banded Agate HairThingy, $8.50 – This HairThingy is made of highly-polished, banded agate, and sits on two strands of high-quality black elastic cord. The bead is approximately 3/4 inch wide.  This HairThingy wraps around once for medium-sized ponytails, or twice for a smaller ponytails.

 Tallulah Triclops HairThing, $14.75 – Made of highly-polished, triple-beaded agate, and sits on two strands of high-quality brown elastic cord. Each bead about 1 inch tall by 3/4 inch wide. This HairThingy works well for medium-sized ponytails and wraps around once for a snug fit.

Chinese Amour V2 HairThingy, $17.50 – This HairThingy from our “Chic Treats for Chic Hair” collection is made of beautiful, natural-colored etched jade and fine silver, and is mounted on a double strand of high-quality brown elastic cord.

 The New Black is Brown HairThingy, $22.50 – Didn’t you know that brown is the new black for this season?  A carved Italian-resin focal piece measuring 1-1/4 in. square is accented with a solid sterling silver bead on each side. This Hairthingy is perfect for a larger, thicker ponytail.

Exclusive Artisan Mehndi HairThingy, $85.00 – This is an absolutely stunning, hand-enameled, artisan glass Mendhi HairThingy.  The artist that makes these lampworked-beads hand-paints the design on each bead using ancient enameling techniques, and then fires the design into the bead. No two beads are alike.  The bead measures approximately 1-1/2 inches by about 1/2 inch.

PICS OF DAUGHTER AND I USING HAIRTHINGYS

              

Which is worse? Product Junkyism or Ingredient Junkyism?

My hair maintenance routine is working very well, so why is it I’m itching to try something new?  Bored, most likely.  I recently wasted money at Sally’s Beauty Supply for Silk Elements Revive & Restore Oil Moisturizing Lotion, Silk Elements Repair Masque, and Root Organic Stimulator Carrot Oil.  It took all of three days for the protein in those products to make my hair go from happy and obedient to guilty of disorderly conduct.  I had to go full out Bohemian (thanks JazziJenni81/HappyCurls) in order to get things back to normal.  For those unfamiliar with the Bohemian Routine, it’s basically a wash and go with conditioner and no styling aids are used (gels, pomades, mousse, etc.), only homemade spritz, moisturizer, or a leave-in.  

To cure my boredom, I visited From Nature With Love, Oils By Nature, and Essential Wholesale who have alphabetical lists of oils, butters, herbs, their benefits and uses, etc.  I found three ingredients I’d like to experiment with.  These ingredients were in products I’ve used previously and had good results (Aubrey’s White Camellia Conditioner, Redken All Soft Cream, Herbal Essence Gel w/Hibiscus (discontinued)).  

Camelina Seed Oil (Camelina Sativa) – Camellina seed oil has a high level of tocopherols (vitamins and antioxidants) and is similar to vitamin E oil.  Use this oil to seal in moisture and protect ends. 

Products with camelina oil as an ingredient:  Redken All Soft Cream, Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Hair Oil (Fine) and Curl Junkie Guava Curl Cream.

Camellia oil – Camellia seed oil is a multipurpose oil which smoothes, moisturizes, and adds shine to hair.  Also is beneficial to skin and has anti-aging properties (fine lines, dryness, scars, etc.),

Products with camellia oil as an ingredient:  Aubrey’s White Camellia Oil, Aubrey’s White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner, Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Hair oil (Dry/Damaged).

Hibiscus Flower (Jaswand) – A natural hair detangler which can be purchased in powder form, as an extract, or as dried flower petals.  Also nourishes the scalp and used often in ayurvedic hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, and gels.

Products with hibiscus flower:  John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor, Curl Junkie Hibiscus Bliss Moisturizing Shampoo, Roots 100% Natural Hibiscus Gel or Powder, Lush Godiva Solid Shampoo Bar.

Other ingredients I’d like to try:  Meadowfoam seed oil, sweet almond butter, babassu butter, watermelon seed oil, and seabuckthorn berry oil.

See what I mean.  I’ll tell you which is worse; neither one.  You’ll be broke either way you go.  I’ve gone from product junkyism to ingredient junkyism.  My advice for those with a routine that is working; leave it alone.  Your pocketbook will thank ya (lol).